State adds $400K to Human Kinetics Park project

State adds $400K to Human Kinetics Park project

CHAMPAIGN — A $400,000 state grant will go a long way toward improvements at a park on Champaign's north side.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources awarded the grant to the Champaign Park District for the development of Human Kinetics Park at 1501 N. Market St.

Money from the grant will pay for outdoor sports fields and courts, a path system, a shelter and a playground.

"The ability to fund the outdoor amenities through this grant is a tremendous win for the overall project and our entire community," said Champaign Park District Executive Director Joe DeLuce.

The grant money will be added to a $4.4 million donation from Rainer and Julie Martens to construct a community center, called the Martens Center, on the site.

This state-of-the-art multipurpose facility will be owned and operated by the park district.

The park district's Chelsea Norton said the center will provide "a destination where people of all ages can gather and experience life-changing opportunities."

Among the offerings will be exercise and nutrition classes, English as a second language programs, business courses and swimming lessons.

The development is part of a partnership with the Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club.

The club plans to relocate existing after-school and summer programs for elementary-aged children and serve up to 200 kids between the ages of 5 to 12 each day.

The club will use rooms for arts and music programs and provide programs at the Martens Center's gymnasium and fitness center.

In addition, the club plans to make use of the outdoor activities at the Human Kinetics Park's sports fields and recreation areas.

Construction is scheduled to start in the spring of 2020.